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Tastes of Kyoto Cultural & Culinary Adventure

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Priced From
$4,298 USD *
(For One Person, Double Occupancy)
* Plus taxes. Tours sold on an availability basis.
7 days | 6 nights

Cultural & Culinary Immersion
in the Land of Temples & Shrines

Kyoto is an exceptional destination for those who truly want to discover authentic Japanese cultures. Museums, shrines and temples, cuisine, theater and shopping all merge at your doorstep to offer a seemingly endless choice of diversions. From your centrally located hotel, you will find famous sites such as the Fushimi Inari Jinja Shrine, the Kiyomizu Temple, and Nijo-jo Castle are only a short walk away. Your home for this week is also strategically positioned to take full advantage of the professional kitchens where you will cook during your stay. Led by an expert chef, you will be exposed to a variety of culinary and cultural highlights designed to fully immerse you into the Japanese way of life. During your stay in Kyoto, you will have the opportunity to visit some of the City’s most beautiful and famous sites, such as the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and the Rushimilnari Taisha Shrine. Walking through the Arashiyama Bamboo grove is like entering another world, with thick green bamboo stalks weaving around you endlessly in every direction. Likewise in another part of the city, the Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine is an unending path of 5000 vibrant orange Tori gates that wind through the hills.

Tastes of Kyoto Cultural & Culinary Adventure

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Itinerary Accommodations Map FAQ
Please note: Our tours are designed with flexible itineraries to accommodate seasonality and desired dates of travel.
6 Nights 4 Star Accommodations
Daily Breakfast Buffet
Multi-Course Kabbo Welcome Dinner
Bento Box Cooking Class
Sushi Cooking Class
Soba & Udon Cooking Class
Guided Tour of Soy Factory
Guided Sake Brewery Tour
Visit to Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine
Visit to Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
Tea Plantation & Orchard Tour
Traditional Tea Ceremony
Kappo Style Cooking Class
Multi-Course Farewell Dinner
While our tours are designed as soft adventure experiences, walking, climbing stairs, and in rare cases mild hiking may be required. If you have mobility issues, you should speak with one of our culinary travel specialists to determine if this tour is appropriate for your situation.
Sunday - Saturday throughout the year. Certain blackout dates apply.
Please note: Actual itineraries are subject to change due to seasonality.
(click item for details)
Day 1
Traditional Kappo Welcome Dinner After checking into your hotel in the heart of Kyoto, you’ll want to set aside a little time for exploration. This evening you will be presented with a traditional Kappo, multi-course dinner that is sure to excite the senses. Kappo-style dining is very popular in Japan, and consists of sitting at a counter in front of the chef as you dine on select dishes prepared especially for you.
Day 2
Morning Breakfast Buffet Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast with breathtaking city and mountain views. Restaurant Otowa offers a Kyoto-style breakfast buffet called “obanzai”. Breakfast is included in your tour.
Visit to Fushimi Inari-Taisha | Hands-on Bento Cooking Class After a delicious buffet breakfast, you’ll head off to see the famous Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine. This captivating shrine was dedicated to the god of rice and sake by the Hata clan in the 8th century. After you have absorbed a healthy dose of history, you’re off to enjoy your first cooking class. This lesson will begin with master chefs explaining Japanese-style seasoning, and offering a demonstration of various Japanese cooking techniques. You will cook several bento specialties, such as miso soup, tempura vegetables, egg rolls, pickled vegetables, and fish…all using seasonal ingredients. At the conclusion of your instruction, you will sit down with your chef and fellow students to dine on your creations.
Day 3
Morning Breakfast Buffet Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast with breathtaking city and mountain views. Restaurant Otowa offers a Kyoto-style breakfast buffet called “obanzai”. Breakfast is included in your tour.
Soy Factory Visit | Sushi Cooking Class Today you’re in for a real treat as you enjoy a guided visit to a traditional soy processing plant, where you will see how the Japanese staples of soy sauce, miso (fermented soy bean paste) and tofu are made. Soy products are the heart and soul of the nation’s food…and one never tires of it. Soy is to Japan what Parmesan cheese is to Italy. After your morning factory tour, you will return to your private kitchen for a hands-on sushi course with your private chef. Here you will learn about the vigorous training and pain that sushi chefs must go through in order to reach the much sought-after Michelin Star. You will learn how to perfectly cut the fish, season the rice, and create sushi, nigari and sashimi.
Day 4
Morning Breakfast Buffet Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast with breathtaking city and mountain views. Restaurant Otowa offers a Kyoto-style breakfast buffet called “obanzai”. Breakfast is included in your tour.
Soba & Udon Cooking Class | Sake Brewery Tour Did you know that noodles originated from the Eastern Countries of Japan and China before being brought over to Italy and transformed into what we know as “pasta” today? In your hands-on cooking class you will learn about the origin of each variety of noodle, and what it has come to represent in Eastern culture. You will learn how to make the perfect Ramen broth (known as dashi) which is the staple to all Japanese cooking. From there you will learn how to cook the meats and eggs to handcraft a variety of noodles. After your instruction, you will sit across from your hosts, dining on delicious Ramen, and learning more about the culture of the Japanese people. In the afternoon you will spend time investigating a local Sake Brewery, and learn about how this famous Japanese alcoholic beverage is produced.
Day 5
Morning Breakfast Buffet Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast with breathtaking city and mountain views. Restaurant Otowa offers a Kyoto-style breakfast buffet called “obanzai”. Breakfast is included in your tour.
Tea Plantation & Orchard Visit | Traditional Tea Ceremony Uji is the second-biggest tea-growing region in Japan. Since the fourteenth century when China brought over seeds to play, the area’s tea leaves have supplied Kyoto’s Tea Culture. You will have the opportunity to visit Uji’s tea fields and tea-processing factories, learning the history, culture, and taste behind the nation’s most popular drink. During the “picking” season you may even have the chance to lend a hand in the harvesting of the tea leaves and fruits in the surrounding orchards. In the afternoon experience a traditional Tea Ceremony, encompassing more than 400 years of history in a traditional, Japanese Tea Room. From March-April you will have the opportunity to enjoy and photograph the beautiful Cherry Blossoms in the fields all around you.
Day 6
Morning Breakfast Buffet Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast with breathtaking city and mountain views. Restaurant Otowa offers a Kyoto-style breakfast buffet called “obanzai”. Breakfast is included in your tour.
Kappo Style Cooking Class | Traditional Multi-Course Farewell Dinner Kappo cooking began in Osaka in the 19th century. Merchants and laborers felt more at ease in a casual setting in which they were standing or sitting near the chef, as opposed to the formal, aristocratic method of dining where diners are fed in a room clad in grandeur and served by kimono-wearing waitresses. Times have changed, and things are a bit different now. Upscale kappo-style restaurants exist all over Japan, and in cities like New York and Bangkok. Today you will learn how to make five to six kappo-style dishes, as your master chefs instruct you in the art of this unique Japanese style of cooking.
Day 7
Morning Breakfast Buffet Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast with breathtaking city and mountain views. Restaurant Otowa offers a Kyoto-style breakfast buffet called “obanzai”. Breakfast is included in your tour.
Check-Out and Departure Time flies when you’re having so much fun, but alas…it is time to check out and depart this delicious, asian paradise. Remember, you can always extend your stay based on availability. Should you desire an extension, please let your culinary travel specialist know prior to your journey abroad. May your future travels come from sweet dreams, and create tasty memories!
Mitsui Garden Hotel
The Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Sanjo encompasses the best of both Western and Japanese architecture and beauty in a beautiful 4-star hotel setting. Featuring Modern accommodations with a world-class restaurant, your stay is bound to be both charming and delicious. Enjoy scenic views of the landscaped Japanese garden while relaxing in the large public bath (pool). Your room includes all of the necessary amenities from free WiFi to a flat-screen TV. Step out your door and in minutes you will find yourself in front of the Niji-jo castle, Nansenji, and the Heian Jingu Shrine. What’s even better, your hotel is located just minutes from the professional cooking school where you will be taking classes. [Hotel selection can change due to seasonality, such as holidays and cherry blossom season. All lodging offered in this tour will be 4 star quality or better.]
Kyoto, Japan
What Currency is being quoted?
The Currency Code is listed directly after the published amount. If it states USD, then the quoted price is in United States Dollars. If it states CAD, then the quoted price is in Canadian Dollars. If it states EUR, then the quoted price is in European Union Dollars…etc. However, please note that all charges are processed in USD, and Epitourean’s Merchant Bank automatically calculates the currency conversion on the day of the charge.
What does Double Occupancy mean?
Two persons traveling together, and staying in the same room. Tour prices are normally quoted as “per person, double occupancy” in case two people are traveling together and staying in the same room, but paying separately. The cost of the lodging is also shared by two people, thereby reducing costs. This could be a married couple, two friends or relatives.
What is a Single Supplement?
Whenever a person travels alone, the cost of their lodging cannot be shared by another person. When tour products are priced, they are normally stated as “per person, double occupancy.” Whenever a guest occupies a room as a solo, the whole cost of the lodging must be incurred by that one individual. Tour companies accommodate this by charging a Single Supplement. Epitourean does its best to keep the single supplement as low as possible, but it is a real cost that tour companies must absorb, and must pass along to the single traveler.
If I am a Solo Traveler, will I be paired with another person?
Epitourean never pairs a solo traveler with another person without a special request. If you book Single Occupancy, you will have a room entirely to yourself. However, should you wish to be paired with another solo traveler to save on the single supplement, you may make this request. We cannot guarantee that we can accommodate such requests, since it would take another solo traveling on the same tour for the same dates. But if requested, we will certainly try.
Is a Deposit required to book a tour or getaway?
Yes. We require a 30% refundable deposit for all our domestic (USA and Canada) getaways and tours, and a 50% refundable deposit for international destinations outside of the USA and Canada. Reservations made for destinations within the USA and Canada must be paid in full 30 days prior to departure. Reservations made for destinations outside of the USA and Canada must be paid in full 60 days prior to departure.
Are flights included in the tour price?
No. Flights are never included in the price of our land-only tours. Epitourean does not provide air, rail or sea travel, unless expressly noted in the itinerary.
May I give a culinary tour as a gift?
Yes. Epitourean has a special program designed specifically for this purpose. Our Gift Packages come with features such as special messages to the recipient, gift box option, gift link (without pricing), and floating dates (should you not know when the gift recipient wants to travel). Contact a Culinary Travel Specialist at 800-390-3292 or to receive additional information about this unique offering.
May we request separate beds if sharing a room?
Yes. In most cases, Epitourean can accommodate a request for two beds to be placed in one room. Just make sure to make this request in the comments section of the reservation process.
Does each guestroom have a private bathroom?
Yes. Epitourean partners with the best lodging options in each destination, and private (en suite) bathrooms are a requirement. However, you should inquire as to the configuration of bathrooms should you have a special need. For example, some tours include accommodations in medieval villages, where either a shower or bath(but maybe not both) are present.
Can your tours accommodate my dietary restrictions?
In almost all cases, Epitourean can accommodate dietary choices and restrictions. But we do request that you ask a Culinary Travel Specialist prior to making your reservation so that we can assess your individual situation.
What is your Cancellation Policy?
Generally, you may cancel any tour or getaway package within 30 days of making a reservation, and receive a full refund of any deposit or payments made, as long as the cancellation is made at least 31 days in advance of departure for domestic tours or 61 days in advance of departure for international tours. Cancellations made after 30 days incur a 10% cancellation fee (10% of the deposit amount paid, not the full price of the tour package). Cancellations made 30 days or less in advance of departure for domestic packages (60 days or less for international packages) cannot be refunded due to loss of inventory.
If I am unable to use a portion of the tour, can I get a partial refund?
Unfortunately, due to vendor and supplier contracts, we are unable to provide partial refunds for unused portions of any tour or tour component.
Are Transfers included in the Itinerary?
Round-trip transfers from the airport or train station are normally included in our international tours. Transfers to the destination (for both international and domestic tours) are not included in the tour price. Please see the Sample Itinerary. If it mentions that transfers are included, then yes, transfers are included at no additional cost.
What meals and excursions are included in the tour?
The Sample Itinerary should be your reference. If the meal or excursion is described in the Sample Itinerary, then it is included at no additional charge. For those days where it expressly notes Free time, then any optional activities you elect to participate in might have an additional cost. In addition, if the itinerary states "evening on your own," it would imply that you have the opportunity to visit a restaurant of your own choosing, and at your own expense. If you have any question about inclusions, please submit an inquiry by clicking on the blue "Ask Us a Question" button under the price section.
Is it possible to book pre or post tours or stays through Edible Destinations?
Yes, we often do have optional 2 and 3 night excursions that are priced separately from the tour. We can also assist with pre and post night stays in a hotel if you choose to come in early before the tour starts, or stay on after a tour ends. The price of those hotel stays are not included in the price of the tour, but we would be happy to provide a quote. Simply ask your Culinary Travel Specialist, or submit an inquiry by clicking on the blue "Ask Us a Question" button.
Are Guide or Host Gratuities included in the price of the tour?
Since tipping guidelines and customs vary widely between countries, we do not include gratuities in the price of the tour. Your Culinary Travel Specialist can provide you with recommendations. But the general rule is to tip modestly when you are pleased with a guide’s services, either at the end of the tour, or at the conclusion of a specialty day excursion where you will only be with that guide (or chef) on that day.
Should we plan on any personal expenses during the tour?
All lodging, meals, transfers, classes and excursions mentioned in the Sample Itinerary and Vacation Highlights are included in the price of the tour. However, we highly recommend taking local currency for purchasing personal items, souvenirs, tipping, etc. You can either get the local currency at an airport exchange service, ATM or from your local bank prior to travel. However, you should note that many hosted destinations do not accept credit cards for personal purchases.
Do you recommend Travel Protection?
We recommend that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more. For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click on the link below or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 06-0248. The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries and may be changed without notice. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company (formerly known as Stonewall Insurance Company), 1314 Douglas Street, Suite 1400, Omaha, NE 68102. 11.17 E7N
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